Two Simple Questions To Boost Your Reflective Practice
Dickie Bush believes asking good questions is an underrated skill. I agree.
Fortunately, asking good questions can be learned. What, however, is a good question? Good questions, in my opinion:
Elicit critical thinking and new thoughts, ideas, and insights.
Connect you with others and yourself.
Assess your own and others’ understanding and knowledge gaps.
Reveal a person’s character and surface beliefs and biases.
Ultimately, good questions are about the thinking and action they stimulate, not the complexity of the question itself.
Two simple questions: ‘What went well?' & ‘Even better if…?'
My go-to question set for self-reflection, one that has tremendously aided the development of my self-awareness and capacity to deal with difficult situations, is ‘What went well?’ and ‘Even better if…?’, or WWW and EBI for short.
The WWW & EBI question set stimulates insights and action based on positive psychology concepts.
This practice comprises two reflection prompts. First, ask yourself, “What Went Well?” and then finish the statement “It would be Even Better If….”
For example: WWW: The meeting well everyone had an opportunity to contribute. EBI: If I had provided the agenda beforehand, we could have come to a decision quicker.
Simple but effective.
WWW & EBI are designed to help shift your mindset by actively reframing the situation.
You are not ignoring it. Nor doesn’t negate what happened or your emotions. Instead, proactive reframing builds cognitive, emotional, and behavioral self-awareness and highlights opportunities for growth and improvement.
Human beings are thinking creatures. However, casual ‘thinking’ is not the same as a ‘reflective practice.’ The latter necessitates a deliberate effort to think about events and develop insights.
This is why understanding what questions to ask oneself is the first step in acquiring the skill of asking excellent questions and building a powerful reflective practice.